In an announcement published on the official Google Maps forum last week, Google announced they will be shutting down the classic version of Google Maps.
Google Maps Community Manager Abby, posted:
In 2013, we previewed a new version of desktop Maps and since then, we’ve been continually improving the product to provide a richer, more engaging, and more helpful mapping experience.
We will soon be rolling out the updated version of Google Maps to everyone. After the update, you’ll no longer be able to use the older, classic Google Maps.
The new version of Google Maps is completely rewritten, and offers easier trip planning, better traffic information, and rich imagery.
If you’ve saved places, home and work addresses, custom maps, and other personal information, you’ll still be able to access them in the new Maps.
According to the announcement, the new Lite Mode will “provide a faster, streamlined version of Maps.” You can learn more about the features and functionality in Lite Mode from the Google Help Center.
The Lite version is available now. Some users who are using older browsers (Internet Explorer 8 and 9) may be automatically updated to Lite Mode.
Faster Performance, Fewer Features in Lite Mode
According to the Lite Mode help article, to improve speed, Google has disabled several features. You won’t be able to use the following features in Lite mode:
- Seeing 3D imagery and Earth view
- Showing your computer’s location on the map
- Setting home and work
- Searching nearby, measuring the distance between places, and getting coordinates
- Draggable routes
- Embedding a map
- Sending a place to your car
- Viewing My Maps in Google Maps
- Reporting a map data problem in Google Maps
No date was provided in the announcement about the rollout of the updated version.
Unhappy Classic Google Map Users
Up until last week’s announcement, you were able to switch to the Classic version of Google Maps.
Once the new version of Google Maps is rolled out, the Classic version will no longer be available.
The announcement was not well received by several Classic Google Maps users, who complained in the forums about the loss features and the shutdown of Classic Google Maps.
Some of their complaints included:
- Inability to generate links to specific layers in our My Maps
- Slow performance
- Loss of ability to to zoom in and out with scroll wheel
- Scale ruler moved from primary view area, doesn’t display kilometers and miles simultaneously
- Missing features for local listing research
Are you using Classic Google Maps? Have you tried out the Lite version? If you have any tips or advice to give, share them to the comments.